BOSS Eddie Howe will be able to utilise more options from the bench during Cherries’ crucial nine-game Premier League run-in, after the top-flight confirmed temporary changes to its substitution laws.

Sides may now be permitted to make up to five substitutions instead of the regular three, with nine players being able to be named on the bench instead of seven.

The purpose of the change is to help manage the workload of players who are returning to action after the suspension of the Premier League due to the coronavirus pandemic, and who are likely to have very little further break before the 2020-21 campaign begins.

The Bundesliga, which returned in May, has also adopted the five substitutes rule.

Substitutions can only be made at a maximum of three points in a match, to avoid unnecessary delays.

A statement from the top-flight said: “Premier League shareholders agreed temporary changes to the rules relating to substitute players.

“For the remainder of the 2019-20 season, the number of substitutes that can be used during a match will increase from three to five players.

“This is in line with the temporary law amendment made by the International Football Association Board last month.

“Shareholders also approved for clubs to increase the maximum number of substitute players on the bench from seven to nine for the rest of the 2019-20 season.”

The temporary change of law comes as a timely boost for Cherries, who now have the likes of David Brooks, Arnaut Danjuma, Chris Mepham, Steve Cook and Lloyd Kelly back in training following their respective injuries.

The increased size of the matchday squad could also give opportunities to the likes of youngsters Sam Surridge and Gavin Kilkenny.

Cherries are set to resume the campaign later this month inside the relegation zone on goal difference, with 27 points coming from their opening 29 league fixtures.